Is responsive website design one of those terms you keep hearing and assume you have covered, but aren’t 100% sure? Responsive design is a big deal these days, and it pays to understand just why.
Developing a responsive site is required to maximize reach and optimize conversions. It can increase sales and build brand trust. The kicker? Google recently announced an algorithm change that will prioritize responsive sites in search results. This means that if your site isn’t responsive, it could be detrimental to being found in the first place.
How Responsive Design Works
A website that is “responsive” automatically adapts – visually and functionally – to whatever screen the visitor is using to view the site, be it a desktop computer or a mobile phone.
This differs from the old days of having a dedicated desktop website and a dedicated mobile site. Instead, a responsive website is one single site that uses a series of fluid elements (columns, images, text) to function best on different viewports. A site that’s responsive also loads quickly on any kind of device.
As a consumer, you’ve probably witnessed websites that load fine on desktop, but are nothing but frustrating on a phone or tablet. Perhaps the page is so small you have to pinch and zoom to read any text; or perhaps the buttons or sliders don’t work on touchscreens. Frustrating, right? Freezing out users on certain devices can have understandably serious consequences for a business, which brings us to our next point.
Why Every Business Needs Responsive Design
The increasing number of global mobile users means that a significant number of potential clients will attempt to access your site, services or products from a phone or tablet. There’s no doubt. Having a responsive website means opening up your business to a far larger client and customer base.
For current clients, customers or followers, responsive design gives them a consistent experience with your brand, one that is far more likely to increase sales, conversion and lead generation. Consistency is a big part of brand loyalty in today’s marketplace. Nobody wants to do business with a company that won’t allow them to access information or get in contact through a mobile site.
You will also have the ability to track analytics in one place and filter them by device. Try it! In your Google Analytics dashboard, select “audience” from the left side and “mobile” from the list of options. This shows you exactly what percentage of your web traffic comes from mobile devices. If anything, you might be surprised by exactly how many of your users browse your site from phones and tablets.
Google’s Big Change
Another reason you should care? Your search engine results now depend on it. In April 2018, Google launched its Mobile First Index. Previously, when Google evaluated a company’s website to determine how it would rank in search results, it based the evaluation on a company’s desktop website. To address the increasing number of consumers who prefer mobile use, however, Google made a big switch in its evaluation process and now looks at mobile sites first to determine their rankings.
This means that if your site isn’t responsive or doesn’t present well on mobile, you’re looking at a big upset to your digital presence. For many small and mid-sized businesses, organic search traffic is crucial to building a client base, so it pays to prioritize responsive design when you’re looking at strategies for boosting your search engine rankings.
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If you believe responsive design is just a buzzword or a development trend, you might want to rethink it. The data on mobile users keeps pouring in, and any digital agency knows that responsive design is a first step to capturing all demographics of web users. Responsive design increases the potential for new leads, increased engagement and brand loyalty. More recently, it’s also started playing a big role in how Google ranks – or doesn’t rank – your site.
Want to see how we can integrate responsive design into your digital strategy? Get in touch with Vordik today!